Friday, April 27, 2007

John Wayne: an American icon

John Wayne, born Marion Robert Morrison in 1907, came from a poor American family, which originated in Iowa. They migrated to California where Marion was a normal pupil involved in many activities such as football. He then received a football scholarship at the University of Southern California. However, an injury forced him to give up his early athletic career and to find a job. Marion worked for production studios where he met John Ford. Shortly after, he appeared in his first film, The Big Trail, where Marion Robert Morrison became John Wayne. He acted in more than 175 films, his monumental film career lasting more than 50 years. He became Hollywood’s biggest and most durable box-office film star and won many Academy Awards such as the Oscar for ‘Best Actor’ for True Grit and ‘Best Picture’ for The Alamo.

John Wayne was considered as a real cultural icon in America and was given the status of a famous actor who symbolized American ideals and values. Since he chose roles which would not compromise his image on the screen, he refused to see a character shooting another one in his last film. Thanks to his visit in Korea during the war, Wayne became popular. He also became an icon for the U.S. Military, mainly due to the success of his movies. Furthermore, he supported conservative causes and the Vietnam War by using his iconic status such as in his film The Green Berets in 1968. The “war atmosphere” led him to produce this film containing an anti-war message. John Wayne had always been a supporter of the Vietnam War and claimed that this movie justified America’s involvement in the war.

This status as an American icon was officially recognized by the United States Congress, the legislative branch of the United States government, in 1979. He indeed received the award the Congressional Gold Medal which is the highest award given by the United States Congress. It is given to any individual performing a service for the national interest, security and prosperity.

Aurora & Elodie

1 comment:

alinepere said...

In 1952, he acted in a film called "The Quiet Man" that was shot in the city of Cong ...
It is a long story...